Published: April 4, 2009
Plucky Burnham-On-Sea pensioner set for 10,000ft parachute jump

A plucky pensioner from Burnham-On-Sea is set to fulfil a lifelong dream by completing a parachute jump for charity at the age of 72.

Malcolm Hill, of Herbert Road, served in the Royal Marines during his National Service from 1955-57.

At that time he was paid 28 shillings (£1.40) a week and if he had signed up to the Parachute Regiment he would have earned an extra nine pence per day (3.5p), giving him an added five shillings a week.

However, he was turned down for parachute training because he was on National Service and he's longed to do a jump ever since.

More than half a century later, he is set to fulfil his ambition this autumn by doing a tandem skydive at 10,000ft after being given the go-ahead by his doctor.

It will take place with the Parachute Regiment's freefall team, the Red Devils, at Neatheravon, Wiltshire on September 22nd.

Malcolm told "I was at a Royal Marine station in Lympstone, Devon, and there were 28 of us in the squad. We all wanted to join the Parachute Regiment because it paid nine pence a day jumping money and we were paid 28 shillings a week but we were all refused because we were National Service."

"I was demobbed from the military in 1957 and joined the police force and later worked for Guildford CID."

"The jump is something I have always wanted to do. I'm a life member of the Royal Marines Association, which does brilliant work, as does Help for Heroes, which supports service men and women. I have therefore decided to do a jump and earn sponsorship for them both."

"I had to go to my doctor because I am over 40 to get approval, and she asked if I was nervous. I said not at all about the jump, but I explained I was more worried about seeing her in case she said I couldn't do it! Iin fact, she said I was fit and gave me the go-ahead."

"I went out of the surgery walking on air and I'm now looking forward to doing it. It has been an ambition of mine for many years."

He added: "My daughters Sally and Karen are both sponsoring me £50 each and they think it is fantastic and are both totally in favour. My wife Joyce is also fully supportive."

Joyce admitted to "I was a little apprehensive at first, but I know it's something he's always wanted to do and I'm all for it."

"He would have regrets if he didn't do it now. I actually wish I could join him by jumping too - I would love to do it - but a back problem means this isn't possible."

To make a donation, post a cheque to 16 Herbert Road, Burnham-On-Sea, TA8 2HE.

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